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Simantov! Jewish marriage contracts from the British Library
11 May 2021 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Tuesday, 11 May 2021 – 7:30pm UK time
A ketubah (plural ketubot) has been an integral part of Jewish weddings for over 2,000 years. Written in Aramaic, the traditional text specifies the husband’s financial obligations towards his wife, thus ensuring her protection and security should the marriage end through divorce, desertion, or death. The ketubah is one of the earliest documents granting women legal and financial rights.This presentation, by Lead Curator Ilana Tahan, showcases splendidly illustrated handwritten and engraved ketubot, as well as unadorned specimens from the 11th to the 19th century drawn from the British Library’s remarkable Hebrew collection. Examples survive from the Cairo Genizah, and from the 14th century, the custom of decorating ketubot flourished among Sephardi communities, particularly in Italy, spreading gradually to other Jewish diasporic centres, including in Asia and the Middle East.